A coronavirus patient being treated
A medical staff member treats a patient suffering from coronavirus disease Intensive Care Unit at Scripps Mercy Hospital in Chula Vista. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

San Diego County health officials have reported 131 new COVID-19 cases and no new deaths, bringing the county’s total number of cases to 8,476, with the number of deaths remaining at 296.

Cities throughout the county can open beach parking lots on Tuesday at their discretion, county officials said Saturday. Members of the same household will also be allowed to participate in active sports together, such as football, soccer or volleyball.

County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said the Tuesday date was to allow jurisdictions to get through the weekend before the rule change and give cities time to change signage.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday released information about the next stage of businesses allowed to reopen. It includes gyms, indoor museums, hotels, card rooms, wineries, day camps, campgrounds, family entertainment centers — such as bowling alleys — zoos, bars, TV and film production and even professional sports without spectators.

Of those testing positive for COVID-19, 1,421 have been hospitalized and 402 have been admitted to an intensive care unit.

Of 5,732 tests reported to the county Saturday, 2% were positive new cases.

The 14-day rolling average percentage of positive tests is 3%.

Although the region has not yet seen a spike in COVID-19 cases following both Memorial Day reopenings and demonstrations with thousands taking to the streets to protest police brutality, San Diego County Public Health Officer Dr. Wilma Wooten said the county is still well within the incubation period for the illness from those dates.

On Wednesday, Fletcher identified 13 “triggers” that could cause the county to take industry-specific actions, pause all reopening efforts or even dial back reopenings. These triggers are divided into three categories: epidemiology and public health, with four triggers each — and health care, with five.

“All of our triggers are still green and we have no areas of concern,” Wooten said Friday. “But we are urging testing for all protesters and for those who have cleaned up the day after protests.”

However, if the county records seven or more community-based outbreaks in seven days, sees the intensive care bed availability come close to 20% of the total or if personal protective equipment at half the county’s hospitals drops below a 15-day supply for three consecutive days, the county will take immediate action.

“Any one of these criteria could force us to take action,” Fletcher said earlier this week, adding that if the county triggers one of the guidelines in two of the three categories, it would also be forced to act.

“It’s complicated, but it gives us our best and clearest sense of where we are,” he said.

— City News Service